Sunderland kids create their own TEDx event


Image by Ewan McIntosh, No Tosh

Eight and nine-year-old pupils from an elementary school in Sunderland have planned, created and implemented their own TEDx event.

TEDx events are part of a programme, set up to bring the experience of the world’s biggest technology event to a local level.

Taking place last Friday, the TEDxKids@Sunderland had year 3 and 4 pupils delivering talks about their passions.

The range of talks was huge, varying from ‘Why you should raise money for Cancer Research’ and ‘What are you doing about car pollution?’ to more existentialist themes such as ‘Do you know what it is like to be me?’.

“A very proud year 3 teacher”

Judging by the Twitter buzz around it, the event was a success. Here are some that caught our eye:

@emilygrandison: “Sounds like very positive stuff, wow!! Well done young leaders!”

@sue_q8: I’m a very proud Y3 teacher right now. My kids were amazing. Never cease to be amazed and awe-inspired by children.”

@stevebunce: “Lovely hearing children share their passions. Secret languages between animals, guitar playing, ‘geography is everything to me’.”

Kids understand more than we think

The pioneering event became reality through the Creative Partnerships programme, which brings creative workers into schools to inspire pupils and help them learn.

The idea itself was born in a conversation between two creative consultants, Gayle Sutherland and Ewan McIntosh.

“Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what happens when you offer young children a format like TED, what would they make of it? How far would they take it? How might they respond to it?”, Gayle remembered Ewan saying.

In her blog, Gayle also wrote about including young people in the world of inspiring events such as TED and Thinking Digital.

“In the TEDxKids@Sunderland project we have seen 8 year olds understanding so much more than you might assume”, she wrote.

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